Spring / Summer Grizzly Bear 2 of 3

grizzly cub staying dry in river
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The picture of the grizzly bear viewed in yesterday’s post was taken on July 13th and today’s was August 27th. The common denominator is both bears have very long looking legs because of the absence of the fat winter belly. The first bear has been grazing on sedge grass and turning over rocks for protein. This is a subsistence diet and not much weight gain for this bear. The second grizzly bear and cub have just started to fish for the salmon on the upper river and have not had a chance to put on the necessary bulk for hibernation. If you take time to check out the previous posts on June 4th and 8th you will see bears near the end of the season that have had time to add the necessary layers of fat to survive the winter. Or wait for tomorrows post and see a fat bear!!


Spring / Summer Grizzly Bear 1of 3

grizzlies grazing river sedge
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The spring / summer grizzly bear viewing season is from late May until August 24th. After August 24th the grizzly bear tours are permitted by the Canadian Department of Fish and Game to travel the short fifteen-minute van ride to the viewing platforms on Knight Inlet’s Glendale River. Prior to the 24th all viewing takes place on the shore of Knight Inlet and Glendale Cove. The spawning salmon arrive in mid-August and are given several weeks to make their way up the river and for the bears to settle into the area of the spawning channel before bear viewers are permitted in the area… more tomorrow


Trapper Rick’s Bear Facts

trail walk at trapper ricks
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black bear skeleton
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On the short walk to Trappers cabin guests stop to wait for other guest to catch up with Rick. No they are not wandering around on their own. Rick is the lead guide on this day while your lodge guide brings up the rear so there are no stragglers. The stop is to wait and talk about the surroundings and how Rick obtained the black bear skull in the second picture. A story about a grizzly and a black bear that met on the trail and made traveling the trail interesting for a week or more. A story better saved for Rick.


Grizzly watching tour lunch break

picnic lunch ondock
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All three day tours from the lodge: grizzly bear tour, whale watching safari and the extra day on the wild river depart at 7:30 or 8:00 o’clock depending on the spring or fall season. These same tours return between 3:30 and 4:30, which means a great picnic lunch. The whale watching picnic is normally served in the boat while drifting in the area of feeding humpback whales. The wild river trips has their lunch on the deck of Trapper Rick’s cabin overlooking a scenic river (see tomorrows posting). And as the photo shows the grizzly bear trip up Knight Inlet dine on a dock anchored in Glendale Cove. All the great lunches are packed by your experiences cook Madeline who has many invitations to go home with the guest and cook for them. 



Grizzly bears playing 2 of 2

grizzlies fight in water
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A different set of siblings than yesterday’s post but still playing.  These two are later in the fall up the river below the viewing platform near the intake to the spewing channel. In this case they are tired of catching and eating the salmon that are here to spawn and taking a break to play fight. It was not serious because there are so many salmon and we had watched these two filling up on salmon for over an hour so no need to fight over the best fishing spot. The abundance of salmon is shown in the fact that the bears in the Glendale River are not scared nor do they shown open wounds as the bears from many of the rivers in Northern BC and Alaska.



Grizzly bears playing 1of 2

fighting grizzlies
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A rising tide in Knight Inlet’s Glendale River estuary provides an opportunity for sibling grizzly bears to play. After leaving their mother juvenile bears may spend two of three years together until they reach sexual maturity at age six or seven. This is a break from spending the morning turning over rocks and looking for protein rich food now that the tide has risen…. more tomorrow


Humpback whale feeding

humpback very close feeding
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While parked within photo range of a herring ball it is important to remember that humpback whales have and excellent sense of their environment. They will surface close to the boat but they are aware that you are in the area. The other important point is not to be moving while you are waiting or the whales will not know your position.  In this case the whale was close enough that it was impossible to focus the camera and those with long lenses were lost. The June 5th posting is a much better distance.



Seagulls feeding

seagls feeding on herring
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Feeding seagulls are important to guides on whale watching tours. The feeding gulls signal that there is a herring ball near the surface. The herring ball up as a defense to the diving ducks that feed on the herring. This ball rotates to the surface and attracts the gulls, which in turn attracts your guide to park the boat in the area and to wait for the humpback whales that feed on the herring… more tomorrow


Grizzly giving us the “Once over”

grizzlies watching guests
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The grizzlies in our grizzly bear viewing area tend to avoid eye contact as it is seen as a challenge. In this case the eye contact on the part of the bear is a challenge in that we were to close. We were in the skiff on the river and this grizzly appeared suddenly out of the bush onto the grassy estuary and started walking toward the boat. It took a few minutes for us to drift down the river past the bear as were unable to go up river because of the low tide. The bear paused as we went by and we made sure not to stare directly at the bear.


Killer Whale Visiting

orca right beside tour boat
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Every day on the whale watching safari trips that leave Grizzly Bear Lodge is different. On the day of this picture we were sitting several hundred meters (yards) off shore as a pod of orca were passing. The whale watching guidelines specify that you are to be two hundred meters from the shore if whales are in shore of your boat or one hundred meters in open water. The regulations are in force by an organization known as Strait Watch and on this day they were less than seventy-five meters behind our boat. One of the whales in the pod turned from the shore and surfaced beside our boat, swam around the boat and then under the boat and resurfaced on the other side. Strait Watch came over after the orca had moved on and were interested in our pictures, they thought that the orca was fishing under the boat and became curious as dolphins are by nature interested in their surroundings. The reason is not as important as the great pictures.